We know that many bike retailers are unable to travel right now and may not have been able to attend the CABDA show this year, so we wanted to bring the CABDA experience to you. There was so much valuable information shared and discussed about the bike industry, the current retail landscape, and business growth.

In today’s environment, customers are loyal to brands that inspire them and make them feel like they matter, and they are expecting a personalized customer experience now more than ever. If you aren’t meeting or exceeding their expectations, you risk losing these customers.

Scott Buelter, CEO at Ascent360, led a speaking session at the CABDA show about communicating with today’s customer and why it’s so important to use data to personalize the customer experience and meet them where they’re at.

How data can make a difference

 Bike dealers across the country have had a massive influx of customers in recent years but are also struggling with things like lack of inventory nationwide. How can they build relationships with 5,000 (or 150,000) customers and keep them engaged, especially when inventory is low?

It seems like a difficult task, but the answer is in the data. Building these relationships is impossible without it. And while understanding your customers through data won’t give you access to more inventory, it will fill gaps across the board to keep customers engaged and buying what they can.

So, what do we know about this influx of new customers? Consider these questions:

  • Who are they?
  • Why do they ride and why did they come to your store?
  • Have they come back after making the initial purchase?
  • Can you contact them?

The answers to these questions will allow you to meet your customers where they’re at. You have customer information that lives in your POS or e-commerce systems, but you need a holistic view of your customers to be more effective in your outreach.

Identifying your most valuable customers

 All customers are valuable, but not all customers are created equal. Differences in when they buy, how often they buy, and how much they spend are all important factors to consider. For example, your VIP customers are those who have purchased recently, buy frequently, and spend the most.

Your high value customers are the 20% of your customers who are responsible for 80% of your revenue.

Top spenders have an average spend that is five times that of other customers.

Repeat purchasers are very important as well, and 51% of repeat purchases occur within 60 days.

It’s also important to keep in mind that it costs six to seven times more to acquire new customers than it does to keep current ones. The probability of selling to a new prospect is between 5%-20% whereas selling to an existing customer has a likelihood of 60%-70%.

The data you collect and aggregate will help you identify who these customers are so you can target them in a personalized way and reach them at the right time.

Strategies for collecting data

 You automatically collect some basic information from your customers at the point of sale, such as names and email addresses, but there are other approaches to collecting data that will provide you with even more information.

At point of purchase:

  • Warranty information
  • Receipt
  • Loyalty program sign-up

On your website:

  • Pop-up forms
  • Footer sign-up

Pop ups and other sign-up forms can be value adds such as free shipping and special offers, newsletters to inform about special events and new arrivals, or registering for a test ride.

Crawl, walk, run

 For retailers who say data-driven marketing sounds difficult and their shops are already over stretched, Scott recommends the crawl, walk, run approach. Start by sending monthly newsletters and then work towards more sophisticated communications such as service reminders, 90-day tune-ups, bike anniversary emails. Eventually you can achieve more dynamic content that is personalized for the customer (i.e., females receiving a female image of a biker, and the same for males).

Other recommendations he has for committing to starting with a crawl are the following strategies:

  • Thank your high value customers.
  • Send post purchase and service communications. Include a survey to understand how the customer feels about their experience.
  • Try to win back lapsed customers.

At Ascent360, our goal is to help make data-driven marketing easy for retailers. Our platform integrates with your existing POS or e-commerce system and aggregates, cleans, and presents your data in a holistic way to give you the power to identify each customer and meet them where they’re at. Sending personalized 1:1 messages at scale is the best way to retain customers and build long-term relationships. If you’re interested to learn more, see the platform in action or request to set up a demo using your own data.

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